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Why I subscribed to TimesReader

First of all, I've read the Times nearly my whole life. I grew up in a NY-suburban Times household. I have fond memories of my father spreading out the Sunday edition on the floor, sitting on the carpet in his pajamas. He read that paper every day until he died. (No evidence that the Times hastened his death.)

But that's not reason enough to fork over $15 bucks a month for the latest digital format.

The NYTimes web site is persistently in my "most visited" lineup on my computers. I have multiple Times RSS feeds neatly sorted in Google Reader. I subscribe to the Times on my Kindle. Oops ... as of five minutes ago, not so much with the Kindle. I ditched that subscription, and replaced it with TimesReader 2.0.

In doing so, I violated my own dictum (and we all know how much that hurts) that convenience always trumps quality. The Kindle subscription takes the convenience prize, especially when traveling. But oh my -- the quality of that interface would leave Samuel Pepys aghast. Fun fact about Pepys: he had 10 brothers and sisters. He had to fight for his share of the family Kindle.

Dictum death occurs when quality zooms upward, but convenience gets nudged down just a little. That's what happened here. Bad news for Amazon. I'm suddenly willing to dig out my laptop on a plane for a vastly improved reading experience plus updates from just before the machine exited WiFi range. I used to keep the Kindle on my bedside table so I could start reading the OpEd page in the morning before my eyes were fully open. Now I'll haul over a laptop. We'll see how that goes, but at the moment, the tradeoff seems more than worth it for the full-color, wide-angle experience.

Is any of this reason enough to subscribe in any fashion, when I spend all day and half the night in front of computer screens and can get Times content free of charge? I just hope my wife doesn't start asking that question. In the meantime, I am loving this thing. The NYTimes might and might not survive the newspaper crash, but some of the digital solutions it comes up with definitely rock.

Tags: kindle, kindle2, kindledx, nytimes, timesreader, timesreader-2.0